(Lineout Action from NORFC vs Old Crescent in the Munster Senior Seconds League last Sunday)
Senior: The Energia AIL resumed on Saturday last with Nenagh looking to preserve the sole unbeaten record remaining amongst the Division 2A clubs. Despite Takumi Park in Rosbrien having been a quite unhappy hunting ground for Nenagh in this competition confidence was high after the fast start to the season and once more the Nenagh men did not disappoint.
The performance on the day was a fitting tribute to two dearly missed clubmen who we have lost in recent times. Past Presidents Billy McNamara and Denis Butler were both remembered in a minute’s silence prior to kickoff. Their passing will be hard for the great many who loved them to bear but the manner in which Nenagh honoured their memory on Saturday will hopefully bring some comfort to their nearest and dearest at this sad time.
All rugby fans will have been busy watching proceedings in France over the last 8 weeks as the Rugby World Cup worked its way to a thrilling final in Paris. Inevitably when knockout games come around in this tournament every four years the same pillars of performance are mentioned as necessities for success; a strong defence and a first class goal kicker.
If Nenagh are to see things through to their ultimate goal of reaching Division 1 status in this league, they too will need to tick those requirements. Events in the past few weeks and especially on Saturday suggest the right pieces of that jigsaw may well be falling into place. For the second game running Nenagh conceded a measly 6 points and no tries over the course of 80 mins action. On top of this for more than the second game running Conor McMahon was in deadly form with the boot. Of Nenagh’s 29 points in this game he was responsible for 19 from the boot. Such stats are what winning seasons are built on but obviously it’s early days and stiffer tests will follow.
On Saturday conditions were pretty poor and in such times the ability to make fewer mistakes rather than doing the spectacular is generally the order of the day. Both sides showed plenty of endeavor and intent but all through Nenagh had the edge in most aspects of play. Nenagh’s set piece has been a strong feature of their play for quite some time now and proved to be the case here again once more. Both Nenagh tries came through the forwards. Colm Skehan with the first after a well executed lineout maul and Joe Coffey, a young player looking stronger by the game, with the second. In between McMahon did the damage with 5 penalties and converted both tries too. Crescent, despite the advantage of an extra man for over half the game, simply did not appear to have the answers to the questions Nenagh were posing. In fact it might have been even worse for them had Nenagh not had another try chalked off for a forward pass in the lead up to scoring.
Overall Nenagh are in pretty rude health facing a long trek north to face Ballymena on Saturday next. This, as Nenagh well know, is a hard venue in which to take a result. The home side take great pride in being hard to beat on home turf and were also certainly no pushovers on their visit to Nenagh late last season. With only one win earned to date this season they will certainly have this fixture circled on their calendar as a chance to improve that record. It will take all the resilience and craft Nenagh have shown to date and probably a bit more besides to keep up the run they are on this week but if we know one thing about this side it is that they relish a challenge like this. Write them off at your peril. Kickoff next Saturday is at 2.30pm in Eaton Park, Ballymena.
Seconds: The second XV unfortunately lost their unbeaten record in the Munster Seconds League on Sunday with Old Crescent reversing the result of the previous day's senior game on a 24-10 scoreline. Valuable game time was given to the extended adult squad though which will hopefully pay off for this team and the U20.5 side which many of the players involved in are part of, as the season rolls on.
U16: Our under 16s were at home in Lisatunny versus Thurles on Sunday last. The boys got off to a good start with an early try after 4 mins by Darragh Murphy who also went on to score a few more later. The pack won good ball for the backs and Diarmuid Gleeson, Matt Leyden and Andreas de Costa added great scores.The forwards mauled well off lineouts and showed their strength to cross for 3 tries off good mauls with Jack Kennedy and Darragh Murphy capatalising throughout the game. Dean Carey converted 4 good conversions and everyone played well in defense and attack. There was some excellent support play and communication by the lads.Thurles gave a spirited performance and never gave up and eventually got in for a try after 45 mins. The boys are playing well as a team and next face Clanwilliam away in 2 weeks.Thanks to Thurles for the game and all the supporters who cheered us on.
U14: Nenagh Ormond Under 14s made the long journey to Newcastle West on Sunday last. Weather conditions were tough at times but the greasy ball did not take away from a very good performance. Nenagh started very well but struggled to turn the pressure into points. However the breakthrough finally came mid-way through the first half. Nenagh found themselves with a scrum on the opposition five metre line. After Anluan picked from the base he was stopped short. A further carry from Luke brought us to within a metre. The opposition expected the ball to go wide but some quick thinking by Anluan saw him spot a gap to dive over. The conversion was added. Nenagh kept the momentum going and scored another try out wide. There were some carries by Joe, Monko and Shaun to bring play into the 22, the ball was then put through the hands with Donagh on hand to receive the last pass. He rounded the last defender and scored. Nenagh got one more score before half time. This score was very similar to the second try. Play was brought into the Newcastle West 22 by carries from Scott, Aidan and Robbie. The ball was then moved wide again to Donagh who scored in the corner. The second half was a tighter tussle. In the first 10 mins, Newcastle West came back looking for a score with intent. Nenagh were camped on their try line until a brilliant turnover by Scott lifted the siege. Nenagh seemed to kick on from that turnover and controlled the game for the remainder. Nenagh found themselves on the 10 metre line and the ball was moved wide to Anluan who showed good strength to score out wide. Another try was scored by Shaun Murphy who finished off a good team try after Scott punched the hole up the middle. Anluan scored his third with 10 mins remaining with Kalem having made good yards in midfield. The last try was touched down by James Dwyer. Anluan made good yards up the wing, fed Donagh who threw a great pass into midfield. This was shifted on by Shaun Murphy to James who beat the last defender to score. There was also one brilliant piece of defensive play from Scott who got back to tackle their 12 with the line at his mercy, a savage piece of work rate. Overall it was very good team performance with all 23 players making an impact on the game. The chop tackling was excellent with every player working hard in the defensive line. Next Sunday we play Shannon away. Training continues Wednesday evening
U10: The u10s made the short trip in the motorway to Old Crescent for a blitz. We want to thank Old Crescent, St Marys, our players, supporters and coaches for helping us show respect and support for the u13s head coach James on the passing of his father Jim. The teams put on a display of fantastic rugby. Everyone was treated to a fabulous feast of passing, tackling scores and great team work. Well done to everyone and thanks for the great support.
Split the Bucket: Well done to all our recent winners including our most recent winner Tanya Venkatraman all the way over in Hong Kong. Our Split the Bucket fundraiser continues to hand out a minimum of €500 in prize money each and every week. Enter for as little as €2 per week at nenaghormondrfc.com/products or access the link on any of our social media pages.
Your Club Your Country Draw: The Your Club Your Country Draw is a nationwide fundraiser run by the IRFU where all money for tickets sold within a particular club goes directly to that club. It is the main fundraiser for our club’s juvenile section for the past number of years. Tickets are available for 10 euros through our club website. There are fantastic prizes on offer with the top prize of a Summer Tour to South Africa to follow Ireland’s test series there. Log on to nenaghormondrfc.com/products to find the purchasing link. All support would be greatly appreciated as it goes directly to the running of our juvenile club.
Senior: Nenagh vs Ballymena RFC. Saturday @ 2.30pm. (Eaton Park)- Energia AIL
U20.5: Nenagh vs Shannon RFC. Wednesday @ 7.30pm (Coonagh)- Donal Walsh Trophy
U15: Nenagh vs Ennis RFC. Sunday @ 12.00pm (Lisatunny)- Pan Munster Conference
U14: Nenagh vs Shannon. Sunday @ 11.30am (Coonagh)
U13: Nenagh vs Ennis RFC. Sunday @ 11.30am (Ennis)